Refugees #UHHhilft Refugee Programme

Universität Hamburg aims to help refugees forced to discontinue their studies back into education with advice, information and classes.

#UHHhilft Refugee Programme

In 2015, Dieter Lenzen, president of Universität Hamburg, declared: “Education is not a luxury. It is a fundamental need.” The University created the #UHHhilft programme to help refugees return to higher education. Those taking part in the programme receive advising and support on the application and admissions process, attend lectures and language courses, and can take part in buddy and sports programmes. The 'Refugee Law Clinic Hamburg' (RLC) at the University trains law students in how to advise refugees on legal issues such as the asylum process. Student advisors provide counsel on a volunteer basis with various organisations around the city.


Generally speaking, refugees interested in participating in #UHHhilft must be eligible to study in their home country. Participants also need intermediate German skills (around level B1). Those without certification of their language skills can take an online test during the registration process. Information about the programme and the application deadline is on the University's website.


Students and staff support participants throughout the programme. #UHHhilft participants have access to advising at the Studierendenwerk Hamburg on social welfare and student loans in Germany (BAföG). Regular meet-ups for female participants are also available. Certain lectures are open to prospective students to acquaint them with the University and to assist them in choosing a major subject. Prospective students also receive individual advising on the application process and take part in complementary German courses to improve their language skills in order to meet the university's admission requirements.


Students act as 'buddies' for the prospective students, helping them to overcome language barriers, and showing them the ropes when it comes to such things as how to access computers, printers, and libraries at the University. Finally, a monthly Welcome Café and a range of sporting activities at University Sports Hamburg foster additional contact between students and refugees.